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, joe, he said i think we're going to make this. i think the boehner offer had significant indicators that something here is going on, and they're going to come together. >> also, kent conrad, a guy -- i've loved him for a long time, deficit hawk. they haven't allowed him to put a budget out for years. he's growing frustrated. i'm sure he's going to be glad to leave. but i was surprised by that as well. you see also, sam stein, republicans are now starting to really bash boehner from the right. the president needs to take note. he needs to take note. >> give him some running room. >> i'm only saying this because you remember, we went through this with newt. you know, bill clinton would push newt only so far, and then the conservatives in the caucus like myself and matt salmon, steve largent and others would say we're not doing a deal. we will take this place down. we're not doing a deal. and then newt would call bill clinton up and say, you're pushing me too far. you've got to work with me here. the same thing's happening right now with boehner. >> with boehner. >> the republican -- a
speaker boehner had to say yesterday. >> the revenues we're putting on the table are going to come from guess who? the rich. now, there are ways to limb the deduction, close loopholes and have the same people pay more of their money to the federal government without raising tax rates. >> congresswoman, the "new york times" reporting today that boehner is enjoying the broadest support he has seen in two years but as you know, a lot of conservatives are very angry over his giving any ground on revenue. is the speaker's leadership still strong in your estimation? >> i think it is. and i know that it's a very tough position for our leader to be in. and especially tough when he cannot get the president to come to the table and in addition to that, we have the administration that keeps moving the goalpost. 2010 this very president said this is not the time when the economy is so bad to raise taxes on anyone yet now we're having him say he wants to raise taxes on small business own that's are going to affect about 700,000 jobs. is that really what we need to do in an economy where we have 23 m
and running. john boehner is in a box. grover norquist near oblivion. karl rove benched on fox news. and the real action of barack obama has sent the republican party into total disarray. >> that's what i'm talking about. >> congressman jim clyburn of south carolina and eugene robinson on the latest republican fiasco. >>> plus, congressman chris van hollen on john boehner's latest concession on the fiscal cliff. michael eric dyson and donna genteel-o'donnell on the political fallout. howard dean on chris christie's big decision on the obama care exchange. and apple's ceo breaks big news to nbc's brian williams. >> next year, we will do one of our existing mac lines in the united states. >> tonight, a story of economic patriotism in an era of bain capital with e.j. dionne. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. the reality start to set in on members of the republican party. republican senator jim demint of south carolina is leaving kplil capitol hill to become president of the heritage foundation. don't cry for demint. the out-going president of the heritage fo
, in the words of speaker john boehner, we need to find common ground here, and we need to do it quick. >> there ain't going to be any between these two ties, my man. over here, good news, jon meacham will be number one on "the new york times" best-seller list this weekend. >> hear, hear. >> his book, "jefferson." bad news is he's going to get there wearing that tie with bunny rabbits on it. here they are. could we get a text poll? >> can i just tell you, i got this from harold ford. >> that explains a lot. >> so there you go. >> that means it's free at both ends. >> it's a disgrace to michael steele who dresses so well each and every day. >> look, i just show up and play, baby. that's it. >> you're doing a good job with that. >> got the pocket square. steele's going for if. >> congratulations on the book. >> thank you. >> going gangbusters. >> thank you. it's been fun. i've been out talking to folks, and everybody's been really, really nice. >> why are people so thrilled? i'm not saying this to give you crap. >> i can tell. >> why are people so thrilled by thomas jefferson? >> i think
closer together? >> reporter: there are two important signs today. speaker, house speaker john boehner met with president obama at the. we don't know how long they met or exactly what they talked about, but the white house says lines of communication are open and face-to-face meeting is on important. at the same time republicans say they will accept the demands for higher taxes on the wealthy if it goes along with spending cuts entitlements like medicare and social security. listen.... >> a lot of people are putting forth a theory. i think it has merit where you give the president 2% increase he is talking about on the top 2 percent. i am beginning to believe that is the best route for us to take. >> reporter: many other republicans, of course, standing firm against any tax increase. they could give the speaker a hard time if he tries to pass the kind of legislation corker was talking about there. >> and how are the democrats reacting to accept the higher tax rates? >> reporter: they are happy to see movement was made toward the president's position but speaker boehner has not embraced
president obama has a clear message for speaker of the house john boehner. >> terrified of what you might say. your move, chief. >> the a.p. headline reads white house to gop, it's your move. it is a point treasure secretary timothy geithner made clear over and over and over again. >> we've laid out a very detailed plan of spending cuts, $600 billion in spending in mandatory programs over ten years. if they would like to go beyond that or do it differently they need to tell us what they propose and then tell us what makes sense to them. but what we can't do is try to figure out what makes sense for them. tell us what they like as a complement to that. we can't react to anything until we see doots he tails of a proposal. we can't figure out what they need. they have to tell us. >> house speaker john boehner isn't playing ball claiming the white house proposal is a joke. >> it's flabbergasted. you can't be serious. i've never seen anything like it. >> boehner insists that talks have broken down. >> right now i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. we've put a serious offer o
very good. here's speaker boehner and the president talking at the end of the week. >> when it comes to the fiscal cliff, this threatening of our economy and threatening jobs, the white house has wasted another week. the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to slow walk or economy right to the edge of the fiscal cliff. >> we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up. and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. >> so here's my sense, congressman mccarthy. why in the minds of republicans aren't they processing it this way? look, president, we'll give you what you want on rates. let them go up. but we have to get something in return. big cuts in the medicare program, and we're willing to make a deal is. that essentially the thinking of speaker boehner at this point? >> the president wants the rates to go up, that doesn't solve the problem and we don't want to be back here in another year or 10 years answering the same question. but right after the election, we sent a plan to the president where we gave revenues but looking for spending cuts. and he took t
if the republicans agree to tax the rich directly. he will only accept higher tax rates. how will speaker boehner respond to that? he speaks within the hour. and how about this, top anchors at a news network visit the white house for a cozy chat with the president. tell us, mr. president, how can we sell your tax the rich policy? citigroup, 11,000 jobs gone. "varney & company" about to begin. having you shipy gifts couldn't be easier. well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt. and a santa to boot! [ chuckles ] right, baby. oh, sir. that is a customer. oh...sorry about that. [ me announcer ] break from e holiday stress fedex office. >> we'll begin with sad news. dame elizabeth mother of news corporation chairman and chief executive rupert murdoch died at age 103. news point company fox. now sad news. and he's raised tax rates and he was elected based on his tax the rich policy. he says that america is poised to take off and if it doesn't, it's the republicans fault. listen. >> you have the u.s. chamber of commerce hardly an arm of my administration or the democratic party. i think, said the ot
obama and house speaker boehner on the so-called fiscal cliff. and the two most important players involving the financial future of our nation. i'm harris falkner, we're told a meeting was held behind closed door and without the media's knowledge and both men tight-lipped about what was said and when we asked for comments, both giving us the same statement, quote, this afternoon the president and speaker boehner met at the white house to discuss efforts to resolve the fiscal cliff, we're not reading out details of the communication, but the lines of communication remain open, end quote. this meeting comes as the white house and congress appear to be at at impasse, you know by now is crippling spending and tax hikes and could cost us jobs and send us back into recession and to solve the problem, republicans say we must prevent our ballooning national debt from crushing generations. and chief white house correspondent now ed henry joins us by phone with the latest on this breaking story, ed, they kept this under wraps. how big after deal is this? >> good evening, harris, there's not
closer, to avoid the massive tax increases and budget cuts? not according to house speaker john boehner. >> right now i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. >> the only thing standing in the way of that would be a refusal by republicans to accept the rates that are going to have to go up on wealthiest americans. i don't really see them doing that. >> nbc news white house correspondent, mike viquiera joining me now. treasury secretary timothy geithner, president obama's point man in these fiscal cliff negotiations, ran the gauntlet this morning. he appeared on all five sunday talk shows, including "meet the press" of course, what else did he say? >> craig, you know if we're in the posturing stage and a lot of people think we're still in the posturing stage with, 29 or 30 days to go. we better hope that they're just posturing, because after the period of optimism, the post-election talk of compromise, you remember john boehner came out the day after the election, the president spoke about compromise as well. they're as far apart as they ever have been and the clock is ticking.
approaching, last night house spaeker john boehner took a break from the fight. . >> god bless us, everyone. and from my family to yours merry christmas. >> five, four, three, two, one. good job. >> well, that was one countdown clock. this morning the president is going to tell a graup of ceos that businesses need the certainty that middle class families won't see their taxes go up it at the end of the year. the president made it clear in his first interview since being re-elected on bloomberg news that he does not plan to budge on the idea of raising tax rates for the wealthiest 2% of americans. >> unfortunately it is still out of balance. $800 billion worth of revenues but he says he'll do that by lowering rates. when you look at the math, it doesn't work. we're going to have to see the top 02% go up. we're not going to be able to to get a deal without it. >> leaving open the possibility that they could come down again next year as part of comprehensive tax reform. >> let's let those go up and then let's set up a process for a time surgeon end of 2013 or the fall of 2013 where we work on
with democrats defecting from the boehner plan. in the meantime, a nice game for the day for the dow, but a stunning selloff for apple. do you know what? fiscal cliff or not, the s&p 500 is up 12% year to date. that is a handsome gain for investors, an optimistic year, believe it or not. and we already bailed out detroit's auto industry. but now, at least one motown politician is telling president obama he should bail out detroit bankrupt city government, too. this sure isn't the free market, and i asked why should a texas taxpayer bail out detroit? >>> breaking news from syria, and it is a blockbuster. the assad regime is walking and loading its chemical weapons, ready to use them on its own people. nbc's chief pentagon correspondent joins us now. jim, is this the red line president obama was warning about? >> well, not quite yet. u.s. officials tell us that the syrian military is poised to use chemical weapons against their own people, and all it would take really is the final order from syrian president assad. but we have learned that as of today, all the precursored chemicals for
, president obama, house speaker john boehner, met face to face at the white house today for the first time in more than three weeks. we do not have any details about today's conversations but reps on both sides say the lines of communication remain open. the two men last met on november 16th. also today, another republican senator announced his support for raising tax rates on wealthy americans. tennessee senator bob corker says if the gop agrees to the wealthy tax hike, republicans would be better positioned to negotiate for bigger spending cuts on social security and medicare. >> there is a growing group of folks that are looking at this and realizing that we don't have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue before year-end. a lot of people are putting forth a theory and i think it has merit where you give the president the 2% increase that he's talking about, the rate increase on the top 2%. and all of a sudden, the shift goes back to entitlements. and all of a sudden, once you give him the rate on the top 2%, it's actually much lesser tax increase than what he's been talking abo
rates are going to have to go up. >> house speaker john boehner appears to be struggling now that the president and democrats are negotiating for a position of power. talking points memo points out republicans are used to getting 70% to 75% of what they ask for in these types of negotiations but now speaker boehner is going on and on about how he's shocked and amazed at president's plan and is refusing to offer a counter plan on the republican side. you want to talk about this or anything else, join us online at current.com/stephaniemiller. we'll see you with more after the break. kind of guys who do like reverse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all of the time now. >> she gets the comedians laughing... >> that's hilarious! >> ...and the thinkers, thinking. >> okay, so there is wiggle-room in the ten commandments, is what you're telling me. >> she's joy behar. >> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. >> what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv. brought to you by geico. 15 minutes could s
to play out like greek theater. entering from stage right, speaker john boehner issued a counter offer yesterday. from stage left a chorus of democrats who are shocked and outraged. the white house told boehner to, quote, get serious. nancy pelosi called it another assault on the middle class, seniors and our future. and senate na jorty leader harry reid took to the floor this morning. >> republicans again sided with the wealthy of this country. it won't pass. >> the gop proposal calls for $600 billion in entitlement reform, including raising the medicare age. it brings $200 billion from social security, adjusting the inflation rate and raises $800 billion in new tax revenue by reforming the tax cut and closing loopholes. the plan rejects specifically raising tax rates, but it is significant that john boehner has gotten his entire leadership team, including congressman eric cantor, kevin mccarthy and even former vice presidential nominee and budget hawk paul ryan to publicly sign their names to a plan that through closing loopholes raises taxes. in an effort to give this offer more bip
're understandably shock and distressed and poor speaker john boehner is hopelessly stuck in that stage. his is, of course, willful denial. a stubborn refusal to recognize reality are. but it is denial nonetheless. today, he dug in his heels. he refused to budge. he released a statement blaming the president for the impasse saying "we don't have time for the president to continue shifting the goalposts. we need to solve this problem." in fact, his approach all along has been to deny reality altogether. his plan is essentially a rehash of mitt romney's. closing loopholes to raise revenue and remember, mitt romney lost. and democrats of course, rightly are calling him out on it. representative sandra levin who released a statement yesterday saying that republicans "remain in a state of denial." well, here he is on monday, going even further. >> the republicans have a major decision to make. and that is essentially who's running their party? is it norquist? is it the people who spoke in the election and voted for the presi
year. >> reporter: his remarks came one day after house speaker boehner announced the talks were stalled. >> well, this isn't a progress report, because there's no progress to report. >> reporter: his democratic counterpart nancy pelosi blamed boehner for the stalemate. >> what they offered in return was an empty letter, lacking in specifics. >> reporter: such is the state of negotiations, 23 days before the deadline, when federal income tax will revert to higher levels, and long-term unemployment benefits will dry up for over two million americans who have been out of work for six months or more. on friday, boehner did not rule out a compromise on a tax hike for top earners, somewhere between today's 35% rate and the clinton era's 39.6%. >> there are a lot of things that are possible. to put the revenue this the president seeks on the table. >> reporter: even if the two sides are making progress behind the scenes, no one expects them to admit it until the last minute. but the office of budget has asked for a list of possible cuts just in case there's no deal. >>> barely a month
. . >>> casper, deep blue, bird, jordan, mcenroe, coners, boehner, obama. it is friday, december 7th, this is "now." >> joining me today, chief economic correspondent for politico ben white, editor at large for salon.com, joe walsh, queen bee and editing manager of the grio.com, and buzz fooeds.com ben smith. the labor department delivered a december surprise, which might just alter the debate over the fiscal cliff. despite predictions of stalled job creation in november in superstorm sandy and looming fiscal cliff, the nation added 146,000 jobs last month, and unemployment ticked down to 7.7%. while november's figures are higher than expected, september and october were revised down 16 and 33,000 jobs respectively. chief economists for moody's analytics mark zandi cautions november may see a downward revision but the numbers are a good sign. >> bottom line, feels like the job market is holding firm in the face of sandy and fiscal cliff concerns, so that's good news. >> surprising exactly no one, the white house and republicans had different spin on the numbers. >> if congress does a
the leverage point for boehner is right now, knowing that fact. >> does he know that the president can't deliver his party without that rate change? >> i think he does, but i think also that the president knows that boehner has got some problems in his -- >> what does boehner need to do to pay for that? if boehner knows -- this is smart. if boehner knows he has to give on the tax rate at the top, what does his party insist on getting in return? do you know? do you know? what do they want? >> i think that they get -- as i said on this show before, the deal has always been, here, we will give you the cuts in spending if you give us a tax increase. we get the tax increase. we never get the cuts in spending. i think they want a definitive -- >> what do they want for spending? 50/50? >> i don't know if it's 50/50? >> 10 to 1. >> let's not get sarcastic. >> 3 to 1. >> yeah. it's not a question mark -- >> i think it's 50/50. >> three to one? >> yeah. >> $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue? >> at least, at least. >> that's crazy. they'll never get that. they won't get that, will they?
. house speaker john boehner is taking heat from all sides, president obama is ripping him for tax hike refusal on those making $250,000 or more a year and the republicans are criticizing him for not pushing back enough. >> reporter: staving off the conservative rebellion, john jon boehner's proposal to steer clear the fiscal cliff, by closing loopholes in taxes has outraged anti-tax conservatives and when he removed conservatives from the key bathses of the past. >> $800 billion in 10 years that, looks like a tax increase. 238 republicans, including me, took a pledge not to raise taxes. >> they want to send a message to me, to send a message to others that we are not going to tolerate people who are interested in doing what's right, we want to play the same game. if you try to disrupt that, we will knock you off a committee. >> reporter: conservatives were tossed off the house budget committee and others were bounce from the financial services committee. benching conservatives have boehner under fire from conservative group, including the heritage foundation, red state dot-com, freedom
criticized john boehner. john boehner should not be concerned about losing his job. he should be concerned about doing his job. his job is that of the american people. i do not want to get caught up in the sound bites. at least bring some kind of leverage, some kind of balance to this crisis. host: "in new york times" this morning -- guest: what does he have to negotiate? there are three options. you could allow the tax cuts to expire december 31. you can cancel some or all of the tax increases and spending. that would accelerate a dive back into a great recession or depression. in the first quarter, we would have very little difficulty in distinguishing ourselves from the crisis that is in gulf and europe and especially greece. the other thing we could do is come to a midline course of action where you could actually -- what can you minimally due to cut spending? what can you minimally due to have shared sacrifice so everyone is sacrificing something in this game? the other thing we don't talk about -- the interest rates on the deficit have been the lowest in 200 years. if we went back to
of john boehner and plan. those tea party-backed conservatives say this is something that would help job growth. clearly what we're seeing here is republicans are not speaking with one voice. >> republicans should not be conceding that the federal government needs more money, negotiating with ourselves and treating the president's proposal like it's serious. >> we do agree that 8% of the american people are getting about 80% of this tax cut shouldn't have their taxes raised. my suggestion was let's take the one area we agree and take it off the table. >> but zoraida, as you saw there from the president earlier in that bloomberg interview, he is digging in, saying there can't be a deal unless upper income americans pay more. middle-class americans should get the bush era tax cut extension. is he not backing down from that at all. the president saying in that interview that he's not being stubborn. he's not being partisan but rather that it's, quote, a matter of math. >> we've been talking now for a while that americans blame republicans if a deal doesn't go through. new polling shows amer
to speaker boehner yesterday he is reading reports that the president is trying to slow walk this thing. listen to the speaker. >> when it comes to the fiscal cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house has wasted another week. >> there are a lot of things that are possible to put the rev that the president seeks on the table, but nope of it is going to be possible. the president insists on his position. insists on my way or the highway. that's not the way to get to an agreement that i think is important for the american people and very important for our economy. >> there you go. so that's what speaker boehner's office is saying. they had a phone call on thursday. but people wondering if they are not even talking at all anymore. >> he said this is no way to an agreement there should be compromise. if you are elected official you should represent all of the united states and you should compromise and hear both sides. >> i think you should go off the fiscal cliff. americans are barreling down the road that's debt. there is a fork in the road. on the left are
and medicare. humbug, indeed. that's the christmas message from speaker boehner. "hardball" with chris matthews is next. >>> in the belly of the beast. let's play "hardball." ♪ >>> good evening. i'm chris mam ewes in washington. let me start tonight with some grave robbing. we're going gown to the dark, cold tomb of the late romney campaign. we're going to excavate the murky truths that were the living heart and mind of the defeated republican effort. going to exhume tonight the guts of the thinking that went on and went so wrong. tonight, we get what we only guessed at, the results of which played out in the numbers of election night. the nasty, anti-immigrant politics, the attitude toward that 47%, the failure to turn out the white male vote, the reason romney picked ryan and the wild prelude to the clipt eastwood performance. tonight on "hardball," the dark arona of what lies now beneath the dirt so we can understand what it looks like, to think and feel your way into a historic disaster. with me are jeff zeleny with "the new york times" and susan milligan who is contributing editor at ""u
the president's opening bid couldn't even pass the democratic led senate. boehner is ready for a sit down with the president. >> we can't sit here and negotiate with ourselves and if the president doesn't agree with our proposal and our outline, i think he's got an obligation to send one to the congress. and a plan that can pass both chambers of congress. >> a rare senate appearance, by former majority leader bob dole wasn't enough to win over republican support for a treaty promising equal rights for people with disabilities. we'll talk with the leading sponsor john kerry about what he called one of the sadsest days of his long senate career. >> this vote is to test whether the senate will stand up for those who cannot see or hear and whether senators can hear the truth and see the facts. >> at nato today, secretary of state hillary clinton bids farewell and voices a warning about securing syria's chemical weapons. >> our concerns that an increasingly desperate assad regime might turn to chemical weapons or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating withi
. president obama, house speaker john boehner met face-to-face at the white house today to try to prevent the fiscal cliff now just 23 days away. we don't have any details on their conversations, but reps for both sides say the lines of communication remain open. meanwhile, at least four republican senators now support a tax hike on wealthy americans. here is senator tom coburn of oklahoma. >> the fact is we're spending money that we don't have on things we don't absolutely need, and there's no grown-ups in washington that will say time-out, stop the politics, let's have a compromise rather than continue to play the game through the press and hurt the country. >> more on this story in just a few minutes with our senior political analyst, david gergen. >>> a half million dollars, that's the bond set today by a judge near dallas for cowboys nose tackle josh brent. he was behind the wheel in a car accident this weekend that killed teammate jerry brown, jr. police believe brent was drunk when he flipped his mercedes yesterday morning. >>> we have an update to last week's tragedy in kansas cit
in the phone call between speaker of the house john boehner and president of the united states, barack obama. did they come to a conclusion. it is now the president's turn. >> brian: it is a week since the president and speaker talked. i do not know at of this moment who called who. >> steve: we know no details. >> brian: it is good there is no details. i just talked to the president and he's not listening to me . i talked to the speaker and he dug in. that is a good sign. >> steve: keep in mind, the last offer on the table was made by the republicans. the republicans are waiting for a counter offer. the white house said that is not serious, we are waiting for a offer from the republicans. tim geithner was on cnbc yesterday and asked whether or not the federal government is preparing to go off the fiscal cliff in particular this administration. he answered unfortunately in the affirmative. here's tim. >> if republicans do not agree to that is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. >> we face no prospect of agreement that doesn't involve the rates going up on the top two per
from john boehner, i am flabbergasted by the budget which they put forward, which is basically paul ryan's budget right? >> more or less. i mean it's basically a repeat. they come up with revenues but they won't touch tax rates, and they don't really say how they get the revenues. they would get it from what they call loopholes, deductions. they don't specify where it would come from, so really it's a combination of the ryan budget, and what romney -- governor romney began to say toward the end of the election when he was worried a they were being tabbed as the party of the very wealthy, so he said well, we won't lower taxes on the very wealthy, because we'll get ahold of loop holds and deductions but they never said what they were and they continue to evade. but mainly they evade the basic question, are we going to keep the high income tax breaks or are we not? and if they insist on keeping them, they are going to take themselves and the country over the cliff. >> stephanie: uh-huh. this is -- we have been saying -- i don't think this is fooling anybody. th
speaker john boehner says they will review the request by the president. new york and new jersey originally asked for a combined $79 billion in aide. the states' governors say they are grateful for any help. >>> the supreme court taking up the controversial issue of gay marriage. the high court agreed to hear two important cases, prop 8 out of california and doma out of new york. a federal court recently overturned prop 8 after the measure passed by voters. the court will decide if doma violates the fifth amendment of equal protection under the law that applies to same-section couples legally married in other states. >>> today is a very happy day for same-section couples in washington state. it is the first day they can marry under the new law, legalizing gay marriage. couples began lining up for licenses early thursday morning. some courthouses opened up at midnight for the ceremonies to take place. several local judges also donated their time to marry the couples. ceremonies are expected all day today. >>> last week, washington state became the latest state to legalize marijuan
. that's what house speaker john boehner told fellow republicans during a weekly meeting, signaling he will push back on president obama's demand for tax hikes on the rich when it comes to the fiscal cliff. but treasury secretary timothy geithner says the white house will not give in. >> no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest americans. remember it's only 2%. >> geithner adds the obama administration is, quote, absolutely prepared to go off the cliff, if necessary. joining me now is van jones, cnn contributor and former obama administration official. good morning. >> god morning to you. >> so, van, i guess my first question that's eatsy for geithner to say, we're perfectly willing to go off the fiscal cliff. that means a tax hike on middle class americans and maybe some of them are thinking this morning i'm not really so happy geithner said that. >> it might have been inartful for him to say it the way he said it. i think he is making a very important point, which is that the american people did vote. they voted for the one
to believe it. instead of john boehner, his name is b-o-e-h-n-e-r-- pronounced it right. >> his name is john boehner. it is how we pronounced it. some news from overseas, this is from the bbc. hugo chavez and need of cancer surgery. he only returned to cuba on friday. tests had detected more cancerous cells. there is this from the associated press. the south african president visited nelson mandela who is a in the president. -- who is a dental the hospital. he was admitted to a military hospital. he found the frail 94-year-old to be comfortable and in good care. we will turn our attention to the issue that has dominated our discussion since the election. we will continue to do so over the next few weeks. the president reject talks continue on the phone on the fiscal cliffs. what is happening behind the scenes? as next. we will have our sunday round table. all weekend long on but tv and american history to be, we are featuring the literary life of albany, new york, the capital of the new york state. we will feature all of the history programming our producers gathered there. here is a portion
with the president, house speaker john boehner says the white house is stone walling. >> when it comes to the fiscal cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house is has wasted another week. >> reporter: this morning in his weekly address, president obama is holding a hard line on raising rates for the wealthy. >> and if we're serious about protecting middle-class families, then we're also going to have to ask the wealthiest americans to pay higher tax rates. that's one principle i won't compromise on. >> reporter: but how much higher could be the key. the top tax rate is set to rise from 35% to 39.6% on january 1st. when asked if a middle ground could be found, both boehner and biden showed some wiggle room. >> the top brackets have to go up. it's not a negotiable issue. theoretically we can negotiate how far up. >> reporter: at another local restaurant, the owner has seen enough of washington gridlock. >> i wish those lawmakers would get their [ bleep ] together and get it done and try to help everybody. it would be good if they could do it before the holidays are over
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